Just outside of Phoenix is McDowell mountain park, part of the Maricopa county park system.  Lots of trails here, and best of all, they have an actual mountain bike specific competitive trail system.  Can you say manna from heaven?  That means that just a few miles from town, you can go out mid-day on a weekend and ride as fast as you want without fear of horse/hiker issues.  Is this legend bitchin or what? 

I’ve chosen the sport loop for 26/29 testing.  3 spicy laps yesterday on the 29er (Dos) was just about more fun than I could handle.  They are short – only 3 miles – and all singletrack, an opening short big ring climb, then lots of twisty, rolling, whoopy stuff.  So much fun at speed.  The Dos was like riding on rails yesterday, those big wheels hugged the dry terrain like velcro and flew through the turns.  Each lap was within 1 kJ, so the data is tight! 

What is really interesting is that a slower warm up lap at roughly 24 hour pace used 12% fewer kJ over the same distance.  That’s something I’ve always suspected (that going fast is inneficient) but never quantified.  So think about this, if you will:  in a 24 hour solo event, how much sense does it make to go out hard?  The faster you go, the more inneficient you get and you also chew into your valuable glycogen stores at an accelerated rate.  Somewhere there is a balance between too fast and too slow for the first daylight stint…part of the balance is mental for sure…where do you think that balance is?  Many good 24 hour riders have wildy differing pacing strategies, maybe there is no one size fits all answer, but for sure, last years natz was an example of too fast ;)  Pretty cool – the 26/29 comparo project is teaching so much more than wheel size related stuff.